Dr. Anthony Fauci is urging careful science to prove whether any of the drugs being explored as COVID-19 treatments actually work.
Fauci, infectious diseases chief at the National Institutes of Health, said Saturday during an online meeting of the National Academy of Sciences that the only way to get an answer that is not just perpetual ambiguity is by doing a randomized controlled trial.
"We need something out there, but safety and efficacy is something we owe to the global population,” Fauci said.
Fauci also stressed that caution is needed as economies reopen, pointing to a step-wise approach with restrictions gradually lifted as areas reach certain milestones.
“Any attempt to leapfrog over these almost certainly will result in a rebound, and then we can set ourselves back,” he said. “If we don’t get control of it we will never get back to normal. I know we will, but we’ve got to do it correctly.”
Fauci also cautioned against looking for a magic number of available tests needed as the country reopens.
“We don’t want to get fixated on how many tests you need,” Fauci said. Instead, places must “have enough tests to respond to the outbreaks that will inevitably occur."